Behind the Scene
Darji Wahab : Preserving the History of Mymensingh
Darji Abdul Wahab,76, a writer and a researcher of the tradition and history of Mymensingh region deserves our recognition.
Born in 1929 at village Krishna Moheshpatti in Phulpur upazila of Mymensingh district, Darji Wahab, son of late Abbas Ali and Acharen Nessa, passed the Mariculation examination from Phurbadhala Jagatmoni High School in 1947 and completed his Intermediate level studies from Govt. Ananda Mohan College in 1950. Later he joined Dhaka Collectorate as an office assistant in 1953. He was transferred to the local collectorate in Mymensingh in1959 and continued his service there till his retirement in 1987.
His passion for writing increased after one of his poems got published in the annual magazine of Narayanganj Tolaram Govt. College while he was working in Dhaka Collectorate. “The publication inspired me much and I started writing more and more after my work hours”, said Darji Wahab. Later he wrote several books which brought him the reputation of a serious writer and resercher in and outside Mymensingh. His writings include Mymensingher Charitabitan, a book on the history and culture of Mymensingh; Bangla Dhara; Historical Relics of Mymensingh Region; Shaat Nori; Isha Khan; Mymensingh Monisha; ; Origin and Development of Bengali Nationalism.
Mymensingher Charitabitan, Bangla Dhara, and Historical Relics of Mymensingh Region have been published so far. All the three books were appreciated highly by various readers and critics. Of these books, Mymensingher Charitabitan is a huge volume containing descriptions of the culture and history of Mymensingh, and the lives of the eminent sons of this region who belonged to different periods of time. The writings brought him considerable recognition and honour. However, most of his other writings are still waiting for publication as financial crisis has gripped him at his old age.
“I fear that the writings would not be published during my life time because it is not possible for me to invest around Tk.1,50,000 to publish all my manuscripts”, said Darji Wahab sadly. “I have to maintain a family of six members including two mentally impaired children, a son and a daughter. Besides, there are the usual old age physical complications. Hyper-tension has forced me to stop my writing now”, he added.
Darji Wahab has been honoured by different local organizations which include Mymensingh Press Club, Mymensingh Shahitya Sangsad, Sammillito Sangskritik Jote, Sukrabashario Sahitya Sangsad and Mukta Batayan. But the nature and extent of work that he has done need to be recognised further at the national level.
Darji Wahab resides with his family at Gulpukurpar area in the town of Mymensingh. He can hardly attend any function or literary programme now due to old age complications and passes his leisure time reading books on various subjects and sometimes talking with visitors who come to see him.
“Darji Wahab is not a highly educated man but he did a lot for Bengali Literature and for the people of this region”, said Professor Amir Ahmed Chowdhury Ratan, Convenor of Sammillito Sangskritik Jote local unit. “We should extend our helping hand towards Darji who has financial constraints and has reached old age. The local administration and the local elite can play a vital role in taking an initiative to publish all the unpublished manuscripts of Darji Wahab who worked mainly for this region and did not run after name and fame”, Professor Amir Ahmed added. “If proper steps are not taken immediately, some valuable writings might get lost one day. All his writings should be preserved in the interest of our future generation. They have a historical importance as well as literary quality”, said the well-known cultural leader.
Reazul Islam, Ex-Principal and Head of Bangla department of Nasirabad College said that Darji Wahab, went into the root of the region's history through his book Mymensingher Charitabitan (Brief biographies of the bright sons of grearter Mymensingh that includes Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Netrokona, Kishoreganj and Tangail). He enriched his knowledge through personal study and hard research to find out the facts and all information needed for his writing, the educationist revealed.
Darji Wahab regrets about the continuous assault on our culture. He lamented that due to the invasion of foreign cultures, our traditional cultural activities like Jari gaan, Shari gaan, Kabi gaan, Bhatiali, Marfati, Murshidi and Baul songs are sinking into oblivion day by day. Seventy-six years old Darji Wahab dreams of a Bangladesh which would be rich with the traditional Bengali culture that goes back to thousands of years.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006